Address of Bishop of Daejeon at Papal Mass

«We pray that the Crucified and Risen Lord transforms our lives, helps us to correct our faults, heals the wounds of our brothers and sisters, and makes us witnesses of bright hope.»

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Here is a translation of the address that Bishop Lazzaro You Heung-sik of Daejeon, South Korea, gave Pope Francis at the Mass in the World Cup Stadium in Daejeon Friday, the Feast of the Assumption of Mary:

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Our beloved Pope Francis: Welcome here in our midst!

Thirty years ago – and then again five years later – Pope John Paul II, who was canonized on April 27, visited Korea for the first time. The emotion of that day has remained in our hearts.

The Catholic Church in Korea, from a Church that was just welcoming, is being transformed into a Church that shares and gives. Giving praise and glory to God, today we welcome the visit of the Holy Father as a great gift–almost a miracle–from Mary and the Korean martyrs.

Our Church welcomes your Holiness, while it is still afflicted by sufferings of divisions, tensions, and lives in mourning because of the incident of the sinking of the ferry ship in Sewol, a tragedy which has saddened and surprised the whole world. I am sure that the visit of Your Holiness, which takes place in this delicate and difficult period of crisis will become a precious opportunity to witness the Word: «Rise up and illuminates the world.»

It is a special honor for our Diocese of Daejeon to be able to celebrate Holy Mass with the Holy Father today, on the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven, our sweet Mother. For us, I think it is a great gift, one received especially through the intercession of the Korean Martyrs. They, these martyrs, from whom we are proud to have received the precious gift of faith, the greatest gift: they lived with love, without fear of sacrifice, and followed the Lord Jesus with the witness of their lives and faith.

In this Mass, we celebrate «the joy that is always born and reborn with Jesus Christ» (Evangelii Gaudium, 1). I pray with all my heart – and we all pray together! – that the Crucified and Risen Lord make us men and women who are «light of the world and salt of the earth» (cf.. Mt 5,13-14). We pray that the Crucified and Risen Lord transforms our lives, helps us to correct our faults, heals the wounds of our brothers and sisters, and makes us witnesses of bright hope.

Holy Father, bless us and give us strength and courage.

On many occasions, you have asked the people of God to pray for you and your apostolic ministry.

Your Holiness:

Welcoming your desire to visit and waiting for your coming to Korea, the faithful of the Diocese of Daejeon prayed with particular devotion.

During this period:

We prayed the rosary for you more than 15 million times.

We celebrated the Holy Mass, according to your intentions, more than 2 million times.

We prayed together a special Prayer for the Pope 3,289,179 times.

We promise to continue to pray without ceasing for you.

We want to commit ourselves to living for the Church and for you.

Holy Father: You can count on us!

With love and filial devotion.

[Original Text: Italian] [Translation by ZENIT]
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